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Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Last month 66,000 residents of the Royal Borough visited the Hornet's Nest. Without showing off the Dame can claim that the Nest has a reach greater than any local newspaper in the sense that those visitors are deeply committed to the interests of the Borough.
The other day The Dame wrote to Cllr Campbell asking the very simple question...."how much is each deputy leader being paid"? 
So far, not the courtesy of a response. No doubt her own £70,000 a year is useful to fund the hideaway on the IoW....the woman is a disgrace!
The other day Cllr Campbell announced on BBC Radio that she will spend a big chunk of the Borough’s £300 million reserve fund on social housing for the Grenfell victims. 

But is this lawful? 
The money came from hard pressed Council Tax payers.  Dizzie told the BBC that the Council reserves were “put aside for an emergency and that is what we will spend it on”. 
These are the words of any spendthrift housewife who suddenly needs to justify to her husband why she has raided the family savings account. 

Not a single other Local Authority taxes in order to create an emergency fund.

The Leader's new policy needs careful scrutiny. 

All infrastructure spending should come from central Government via the Central Grant. (Schools, hospitals, libraries, council housing). And this needs to be argued for. The Royal Borough is the only Council in the country operating with a big slush fund created by over taxing Council tax payers. 
It has been useful for subsidising Holland Park Opera to the tune of £1 million every year and paving Exhibition Road with pink granite from China imported at a cost of £30 million. 
And the practice of promising a decrease in Council Tax just before local Government elections. (In layman’s terms this is called a bribe). But these practices have to stop.

For the last ten years, the Country has been in austerity. It will be extremely difficult for Hornton Street to argue that the £300 million reserve was amassed from surpluses from the Central Grant. 

The Central Grant should cover what is agreed. And Council Tax should cover what is necessary for central services (garbage collection, the parks, street cleaning etc).

If there is an emergency such as flood, fire, or terror attack, then the established practice is for Central Government to find the necessary recovery resources.

As usual, our Lizzie is dipping her fingers into the nearest chocolate box. This is known as Sloane Square expediency.


  1. More of the same from the Tories. Spend, spend, spend. On a very selective basis. The huge cost to clear up after the terror attack on Westminster did not fall to Westminster Council Tax payers. It was covered by the Governments Emergency fund. Ditto the Manchester attack (no charge to Mancehster Council Tax Payers), ditto the Borough Market attack.

    Grenfell Tower is a national emergency. Unexpected, dreadful and a tragedy. The recovery cost should be funded by the Central Government fund.

    There are very strict rules covering housing finance - the capital and revenue accounts. Council Tax is ring fenced.

    What does Lizzie think she is up to? Why is the new Chief Executive, Mr Quirk, not bringing some much needed order to the Town Hall.

    Why is my Council Tax being used to buy public housing? When did this practice start? Where is the legislation to enable this?

    We need an explanation.

    1. This is permitted under the Localism Act 2011

    2. Question for Smart Arse26 July 2017 at 12:21

      What does the Localism Act say about overtaxing residents to create a reserve (slush fund)? And what does it say about importing pink granite from China to tart up Exhibition Road at a cost of £30 million?

  2. This is a picture of years and years of failure from Tory housing policy in Kensington and Chelsea. Policy should be focused on the benefit of the Community - not the benefit of developers and offshore investors looking for a safe place for their money. Much of it crooked money.....

    1. Investors re hardly interested in 'social housing'.. Their aim is to maximize their investment of dirty money, which by putting it in mortar and bricks, not only buries the source of the money, but gives it somehow a decent purpose. Those who launder their ill-begotten gains are not really interested in selling or renting the flats Their main objective of money laundering in a respectable way has been achieved. Any additional, clean money is a welcome bonus, but not a necessary one.

  3. A headless chicken is in the Leader's chair

  4. Many wouldn't mind if the reserves went to house the Grenfell survivors... Better question might be why RBKC embarked on such a mean racket in the first place? Why the millions of S106 money unspent. Like the opera, when it came to consultants, Cllr expenses, officers salaries all were paid at the top of market rate, often for crap work. The same crap that befell & condemned 80+ residents to 1000 degree heat.

  5. Well reported dear Dame.

    Surely Cllr Campbell who lives an elitist lifestyle should not have been elected into a position of power, to plan for the most vulnerable in the borough, people with whom Cllr Campbell would probably not wish to share a table or even the same street. Conflict of interest? Regeneration V poor peoples needs, HNWI needs V poor peoples needs the list goes on and on.

    Please don't forget all of the poor tenants and leaseholders of RBKC who have received the worst of service from KCTMO without any support from RBKC their employer. Lives have been ruined by the amount of work involved in dealing with these defunct offices. The whole thing is a scandal.

  6. Lizzie - Living the dream!

  7. It still seems not to have occurred to RBKC that the piling up of such obscene reserves is in fact the cause of the Grenfell fire. Scrimping and saving. Cutting corners. Anything and everything to add yet more cash to the Town Hall pile of gold! At least eighty people have died, so our rotten councillors plan to display their collective magnanimity by spending on rehousing the survivors! It's not their gold. It's ours. It's gold splashed with the blood of dead children. What nauseating hypocrisy.

    1. Ah, piling up the gold as RBKC reserves is one thing, raking it in from developers in bribes is another matter. The bribes grossly outweighs the 'reserves', which are just a crass 'window dressing' effort.

  8. It still seems not to have occurred to RBKC that the piling up of such obscene reserves is in fact the cause of the Grenfell fire. Scrimping and saving. Cutting corners. Anything and everything to add yet more cash to the Town Hall pile of gold! At least eighty people have died, so our rotten councillors plan to display their collective magnanimity by spending on rehousing the survivors! It's not their gold. It's ours. It's gold splashed with the blood of dead children. What nauseating hypocrisy.

  9. Big story in the Standard tonight about Dizzie Lizzie's £1 million holiday home in the Isle of White. Registered for the lat 20 years in a Tax Haven but transferred to her name last week. "I have paid all my taxes" she shrills.

    1. Daily Mail (25 July 17): Council boss leading the Grenfell Tower disaster response owns a £1million 'second home' farmhouse on the Isle of Wight linked to an offshore tax haven

    2. really - paid it all. show is the evidence, dear Dizzy Lizzy

  10. @07:14 That's interesting. Why did she transferred to her name last week?

    Unrelating to above but someone tweeted that KCTMO/RBKC has £2bn worth of hidden stocks n shares. Who knows whether it's true but worthwhile digging?

  11. Retired Chief Executive26 July 2017 at 10:34

    The steady thread through all of the Grenfell stories is an unacceptable housing situation in Kensington and Chelsea. The Grenfell tragedy has brought a sharp focus onto this.

    Cities are the engine room of economic growth and create the spending and taxes to pay for schools, roads and healthcare. Our houses and apartments need to be full of working people. The importance of homes that are full of working people cannot be over stated. Workers earn money so that they can support themselves and not rely on others to do so. They spend money in local shops and restaurants that create more jobs. They add value in their workplace that creates even more jobs and taxes to support public services.

    Broadly speaking, the Royal Borough has a mix of expensive homes (suitable for high earning workers) and affordable homes (suitable for lower earning workers). But far too many of these homes at the top end lie empty (Savills estimate that 80% of new builds in the area end up as "buy to leave" for rich foreigners) and perhaps too many of our affordable homes are on benefits support.

    And the activities of the developers and foreign buyers are relentlessly forcing up house prices with no benefit to society. A retired friend of mine recently sold his house in Kensington after living there for 30 years. He had been a highly paid executive but the tax free profit from his house was more than all the money that he earned in his lifetime of work. This is a huge failure of policy. A vast redistribution of wealth from the young to the old. It is a London centric problem, but London is the engine room of the British economy.

    Local Councillors hide behind the excuse that "it is not my fault, it is the fault of central Government". Something that I refused to tolerate in business was the finger pointing culture. Anyone who has a place at the table, and politicians in particular (with salary, perks and status) need to be able to make things happen. And make the right things happen. If they cannot do so, then they should be made to move over to make room for those who can do so.

    In the last 70 years, since the war, a bankrupt economy with hyper inflation (Germany) pulled up its bootstraps, filled its houses with workers, and invested in wealth creating assets instead of house inflation. It is not an accident that Germany currently runs a £70 billion trade surplus. Every year. And it is growing. Germany's annual surplus could pay for most of NHS spending, or cover our education cost many times over.

    Time for our Town Hall stop finger pointing and get to grips with fundamentals.

  12. Today's Standard. See Cllr Campbell lives at No. 33 (Masonic number!) No coincident.

  13. As an RBKC resident on the Warwick Road Estate (WRE) who has like many others been let down by the woefully poor services of KCTMO and 2 rounds of Regeneration planning, likely to now be 3, I am concerned that Campbell will become obsessed with Grenfell and use it to her advantage and potential deification.

    Our estate has had no full refurbishments since it was built really. Poor patch up jobs are all we can expect now. And if we need anything urgent our RA and residents have to break our backs to get the work done.

    There seems to be no care taken to look after all the residents of these estates.

    So today I decided to chase KCTMO after reading this blog. I want to get all of the original bathroom suites replaced and the fuse boxes up graded. I know well enough not to go to the estate manager (useless) so I went onto the KCTMO website to find out who to contact.

    The whole board have disappeared and nothing in their place! yet Robert Black is still on Linkedin as Chief Executive of TMO.Similarly when I contacted RBKC about the regeneration of WRE no information at all!

    As a tenant I feel we have been abandoned by KCTMO and RBKC.

    If anyone has any advice or suggestions please let me know.

    I love this blog!!!

    1. Bike Nicks, please unite your residents in your block and get in touch with councillors. My cllrs don't even hold surgery and has done a runner so I had no choice but to seek help from labour cllr in North Kensington and I am very greatful that she listened and understood my problems and actioned on behalf of me. It is now time to speak out our problems to show how badly the TMO residents have been treated across the borough.

      The more we unearth what's going on in other parts of the brough, the more horror stories I hear.

      Are you not horrified with your exposed gas pipe i.e. death trap by your entrances? They put a wired box around it but that won't withstand a car crash impact.

    2. If you do nothing, the power that be will consider non-action as consent because you did must be ok with it.

  14. bike nicks: both RBKC and KCTMO are in a real melt down. It seems that the BBC is not letting this one to go away, as they may have done in the general 'flow of news'...KCTMO=RBKC. It is wholly owned by RBKC as a slick 'buck passing' mechanism. Some in Horton St call it 'Arm's Length Management Organisation'. However, as I have said already elsewhere, conveniently there is no person with any responsibility to be found at the end the 'arm'.. ooops...

  15. Me too. I suggest you go directly to your local councillors. Ask them to chase the clearly appalling KCTMO for you. That's what they're elected to do.

    Failing them, what about our new RBKC chief exec? Though it's rumoured he's already taken himself off on holiday! Poor chap must be exhausted!

    1. 'What about our new RBKC chief exec?' Nothing but yet another useless tosses, I am told.
      Could one of our dear contributors explain to us all, who is financially/legally responsible re the Tower, so that we are not under a false impression that some are doing something extra, when it is their responsibility. To prevent any erroneous deityfication.

    2. Regarding our new chief exec, please find the complete online recording of the council meeting. If it's unavailable on RBKC, please seek it on Public-I. Fast forward to the last five minutes. After everyone else has left, a solitary Mr Quirk is seen standing on the dais, shell-shocked and appalled at what he's got himself into. The fact that he's now apparently departed for the summer speaks volumes. No one should be surprised if he retires quite soon, on medical advice. His blood pressure for instance. In that case, maybe he'll collect a nice fat RBKC pension to add to his Lewisham one.

    3. In response to Sad Badger, it seems Judge Moore-Bick's particular expertise is making sense of labyrinthine corporate structures etc.

      However, to a non-lawyer, it seems obvious that since the disgraceful KCTMO acted solely for RBKC, it cannot claim to be an arms length organisation. KCTMO was and is RBKC's agent. The Council is responsible for its actions and failures. The KCTMO now seems inactive, so should surely be shut down. It won't make any difference to the public enquiry. Responsibility for housing must be returned to Hornton Street asap.


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